Hurricane Irene, the Arctic and more on green energy headlines - the last week
- 02 Sep 2011, 15:00
- Robin Webster
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Hurricane Irene and climate change
Hurricane Irene prompted considerable discussion in north America
this week about the possible links been the hurricane climate
change. Joe Romm outlined three reasons why
Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Like Irene More Destructive:
- Sea level rise makes storm surges more destructive;
- Higher sea surface temperatures leads to more water vapour in
the air, more rainfall and therefore increases the risk of
- More water vapour in the air and higher ocean temperatures also
mean more intense and bigger storms.
The science blog
Climate Central also took a look.
Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm before it hit New York,
leading to widely varying claims about its impact. Climate skeptic
bloggers labelled it "
overhyped" whilst Climate Progress called it "
the storm of the century". The New York
Times pointed out that it was "likely to prove to be one of the
10 costliest catastrophes in the nation's history".
Arctic sea ice melt and Arctic oil
The Arctic sea ice annual summer minimum is approaching and due
Data (which is
updated daily) from the National Snow and Ice
Data Center indicates that the summer decline in sea ice extent
is currently roughly on a par with the record melt seen in 2007.
Carbon Brief has explained the context of the annual melt further
in a post
As we approach the height of the melt, Exxon Mobil announced it
has secured a contract with Russia's state oil company to
explore the Arctic Ocean floor for oil.
According to the
New York Times, Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has
made "a sweeping global alliance" with Exxon and described the huge
figures involved as "scary".
Earlier this week, a team of
six British explorers also became the first people to row to
the magnetic north pole. The trip only became possible because of
Arctic sea ice melt.
More headlines about 'green energy taxes'
Last Saturday The Times printed a front-page
headline 'Flawed Green Scheme Costs Households £120 In Energy
The story - a result of an investigation by the Times - said that
every household in Britain has been overcharged an estimated £120
as a result of the Europe-wide Emissions Trading Scheme.
Although at first glance this figure appears similar to those
produced by the Daily Mail in their campaign
against 'green taxes' on energy bills, it should be noted that
it refers to the total cost to households over six years - not one.
The investigation also pointed to flaws in the scheme which has led
to it failing to reduce emissions, and to a £9 billion profit made
by the energy companies by manipulating the scheme.
Carbon Brief also took a further
look at figures quoted in the Daily Mail about the costs of
green energy which were sourced to a new book by the Taxpayers